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UN Official Calls for Int'l Declaration on Data Protection

DATA PROTECTION

January 22, 2010

A UN official has called for a new international agreement on privacy, reports The Register. In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, special rapporteur Martin Scheinin said "a global declaration on data protection and data privacy" is necessary to stopgap what he describes as the loss of basic privacy protections in the wake of expanded counter-terrorism efforts. European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx told the IAPP Daily Dashboard newsletter that he considers this "a very welcome call for action that should be considered very carefully." Hustinx said that global standards and global safeguards are required to limit increasing surveillance activities and to ensure a legitimate global use of new technologies. However, Martin Abrams, executive director of the Hunton & Williams Centre for Information Policy Leadership, said that until UN member states can find the balance between physical security and data protection within their own borders, it is unlikely they will be able to move forward with an international agreement.
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